A Team That Could've Been
The White Sox of the early '80s seem like a team that should've done more than it did. The team was sold prior to the 1981 season and immediately the new owners brought in Carlton Fisk and a player who seemed born to play DH, Greg Luzinski, as free agents. They also had a young Harold Baines and what seemed to be a solid young pitching staff, although they never seemed to quite hold it together through the '80s. After bringing up a few other young players, they did have an exceptional season in 1983, getting into the playoffs by winning the AL West, but really made no noise other than that.
Harold Baines and the Affect of the Player Strikes
1981 is the rookie card year for Harold Baines. He had a 22 season career, finally wrapping it up in 2001 with the very same White Sox. He ended his career with 2,866 hits...just 144 of the magical 3000 number that seems to get players in the Hall of Fame, no questions asked.
In 1981, the White Sox didn't play 56 games due to the players strike. Had Harold Baines played in the same percentage of games that he played in 1981 over a full 162 game season, he would've played in 125 games. He had 80 hits in 82 games played...but projecting that over 125 games, he would've had 122 hits, so he would've gained 42 hits in 1981 had they played the entire season.
Using the same idea in 1994 when Baines was a member of the Baltimore Orioles, he would've picked up 43 more hits. So just simply by being as consistent as he was in 1981 and 1994 with no strikes, he would've picked up 85 more hits...leaving him 59 hits short of 3000.
Would he have stuck around and played in 2002 just to get 59 more hits? Hard telling, as he would've been 43 that season and hit .213 in 2000 and .131 in 2001 in limited duty both seasons. Then again, he could've been beaned in one of the missing 1981 games and maybe ended his career then and I wouldn't even be considering this idea, so who knows what could've happened.
An Idea for this Blog
I didn't realize that there were so many baseball card blogs devoted to single teams until I started this project. Which I think is really awesome. I would like to see if we can connect everybody from the different regions of the country to get some insight on regional sets to see if we can find some more players not in any of the major sets. Today I present the blog I found for the Chicago White Sox...White Sox Cards.
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